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One for you and one for me - Can we share cropping space with insect pests?

Sequeira, R. (2017) One for you and one for me - Can we share cropping space with insect pests? In: Cotton Research Conference, 5-7 September 2017, Canberra.

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Abstract

Insect pest management in most crops is underpinned by the philosophy of minimal sharing of the cropping space (paddock or land on which crops are grown); crops grown for commercial food or fibre purposes cannot be freely shared with insects due to the risk of economic loss. Farmers are constantly doing battle with insect pests to limit the amount of crop damage and/or loss of productivity. Battles with insect pests typically involve the use of chemical insecticides.
There are alternative approaches to insect pest management based on the philosophy of sharing the cropping space with insects by growing two or more crops simultaneously - one for the insects and one or more for the farmer. Examples include various forms of companion cropping, trap cropping and strip cropping, to name a few. The ultimate objective of these approaches is to minimise the use of chemical insecticides in managing crops pests. The main problem with most of such sharing approaches is the allocation of cropping space to a sacrificial (non-profitable) activity such as growing food purely for insects.
Insect pests such as whiteflies that can become problematic in high yielding cotton crops at the tail end of the season cannot be effectively controlled using chemical insecticides. This is thought to be partly due to the failure of aerially applied sprays to achieve sufficient penetration of the crop canopy to control the target pest population which is usually lower down in the canopy. Here I ask the question: Can the problem of controlling whiteflies in late season cotton crops be resolved by strategic sharing of the cropping space?
I present a variation on the concept of sharing cropping space and show that soybean planted as an understorey within cotton can effectively displace whiteflies from the former due to an innate, strong preference for the latter.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Textile and fibre plants
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Deposited On:04 Sep 2018 04:32
Last Modified:04 Sep 2018 04:32

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